The concept of potential energy

Word potential suggest possibility or capacity for action. The term potential energy brings to one’s mind ‘stored’ energy. A stretched bow-string possessed potential energy ,when it is released

Potential energy is the energy an object has stored in it due to its position. When we think of potential energy often the first thing that comes to mind is an object high in the air and just starting to fall. It has potential energy stored in it due to its height, and that energy will be turned into kinetic energy as it falls. However, this is not the only situation in which an object has potential energy. It is a specific type of potential energy called gravitational potential energy. This is the energy an object has in it due to being deformed. Any object that can be deformed and then return to its original shape can have elastic potential energy

Few examples are given of potential energy

  • The potential energy of the wound spring of a clock is used to drive the hands of the clock
  • The potential energy of water in dams is used to run turbines in order to product electric energy from the generator.